Why Must You Start to Build a "Live" Islamic Library While Children Are Young
The Informative Years
Everyone says that what a child learns during their informative years is what sets them and molds them in life. It is the foundation for whatever kind of person you want to build as a parent. Setting up a proper "live" Islamic library is the ground work for such an undertaking.
When a child is young, they are developing their reading skills, and what better way to encourage this important life skill than surrounding the child with beneficial reading material. As Muslims, we all know that the greatest Islamic teachers' parents usually provided plenty of reading material that was absorbed by their child which led to their eminence as an adult ‒ an eminence that will forever echo favorably in the Hereafter, no doubt. No great Islamic teacher's parents ever regretted providing them with the material that led them to what they became.
Habits also start early. If a parent wants to develop successful habits that will benefit their child years to come, they must start early. Encouraging children to read and discuss what they read is a key factor that not only serves as a form of bonding but serves as an effective parenting tool. Likewise, it is what a child becomes accustomed to that makes it easier to either make or break them. When a proper Islamic library is set up, they have the environment that will lead to successful habits, whether they are reading, playing, etc.
Furthermore, as Muslim parents, we must teach our children about Allah, the Lord of all. Providing children with correct information instills how important this is. Likewise, knowing one's Lord can lead to one properly worshipping Him, and this must start while young. Therefore, make sure to surround your children with that which will inform or encourage the proper belief system.
It is worth noting that teaching your children Arabic is another key to learning Islam properly. If you do not have the luxury of raising your children in an Arab-speaking country, then at the very least provide them with Arabic learning curricula that would enable them to become Arabic speakers. There is no better time to do this than in a child's informative years.
A proper Islamic environment cannot be understated in its importance in Muslim child-rearing. As Muslims, we know that Islam is a complete way of life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was quite clear on how we should take care of so many things in our lives, and what better way to inform your children about how to lead their lives correctly than providing them the learning materials that would teach or reinforce that which they are learning and adapting as a life habit. Whenever we provide our children with that which informs, teaches, instills, and/or encourages, this makes our parenting job that less daunting. Children are naturally curious at a young age to what is right and wrong and why their parents do certain things, whether it is praying, fasting, etc. Surrounding them not only with the answers to their questions is a huge plus, but it leads them to the right path or to stay upon it.
In today's world, technology cannot be overlooked. Whether we like it or not, and often times we do, technology surrounds us. We have computers, smartphones, tablets, DVDs, games, to name a few. Most parents can be overwhelmed by such technology and how to use it properly so that it can be used to guide their child and not misguide. When providing your children with a "live" Islamic library that is filled with Islamic books, DVDs, games, electronics, etc., you're making technology become the third parent that does what you tell them to do and guide as you want them to guide. Face it, there are so many negative influences out there, and in order to prevent them from affecting your children, you must provide positive influences in such a way to become the dominant forces in your children's life, and at the very least, to offset negative ones.
Likewise, reward positive behavior and address negative ones. When you do this, you are encouraging your children to do that which pleases you (and your Lord) and to stay away from that which displeases you (and your Lord).
On this note, it should be mentioned to limit TV time during the day, for it can undo so much that which you do and encourage so much that you discourage. So much of what is on TV has un-Islamic undertones that do not need to be undermining what you are doing. Therefore, provide alternatives by setting up the best Islamic library because you are giving yourself more control and not introducing or exposing your children to that which could corrupt them. A "live" Islamic library is just the answer.
Being the role model whom our children look up to is a way to cement and build from a great foundation. Children naturally absorb the beliefs, lifestyles, and habits of their parents, so being a great role model gives them the sheer, living example of whom they should be. If you set up an Islamic library that you keep "live" and use to "liven" yourself, then you are well on your way of becoming the best role model for your children. Children just look up to their parents and use their example to help them in so many of this life's situations, so be that person whom you want your children to be.
Remember that on the Day of Judgment, you will be with those whom you love, so you must guide your children to love those who will benefit them in this life and in the next; what better way to develop love for the best people than surrounding your children with stories of those worthy of their love and admiration.